UPDATED 6/4/2013 – See update below

[Video] I have been asked by multiple property managers the last week about shrubs – mainly spirea – that look dead. They had a tough, long winter and many of the branches or canes have died back. Never fear – in most cases, they are not really dead. Watch the video to see what you can do to bring them back to life.

1) Cut all dead/partially dead branches back to 6″ or less.

2) Let the plant regrow.

3) If there is no new growth coming from the base of the plant or you don’t see significant growth by the middle of June, you’ll want to replace it.

cut back dead shrubs pdf

click to download pdf in English and Spanish


Copy the following verbiage and link and send to your maintenance contractor for handling dead plants:

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By June 14, 2013, cut back all dead/dying branches from shrubs less than 5′ tall. If there is new, live growth coming from the ground, do not cut off the new growth.

If a plant is mostly dead and showing very little signs of life, take a photo and remove to ground level.

All branches are to be removed from site and composted appropriately. Complete the work at T&M pricing, not to exceed $225 per property.

Follow this link for a simple pdf in English and Spanish for your crew.

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Here is a quick guide on your NTE numbers:

  • Mowing specifications created by ELC contain dead plant removal/cutting back in contract and is not a billable service.
  • Less than 5 dead shrubs – $0.00
  • 5-20 dead shrubs – $150.00
  • 20-30 dead shrubs – $225.00

Have a great day!